One of the Alberta Principal Quality Standards is, “Understanding and Responding to the Larger Societal Context”. It would seem to me that the onus is on every principal in Alberta whether in a Public or Catholic school, to spend time considering the impact of GSAs in our schools. I have been following the debate since the beginning have been baffled by some of the dialogue (but usually monologue) that has been happening.
What do people think would be the outcome of a HS or middle school establishing a GSA? The only negative impact from that could be some constituents complaining? What else is there to fear? Really?
Are we afraid of students having a voice? Of them feeling supported? What?
I would really like someone to respond to this and inform me, so I can Understand the Larger Societal Context and respond appropriately.
I have been struggling with the amount of trivial things that fill my days. If I could be doing things all the time that I feel directly impact students, I would feel like I have spent every day accomplishing something great. When I have to deal with staff issues, paperwork, financial decisions, meetings, organizing rooms for other meetings, and a myriad of other things, I tend to get a little frustrated.
I want to be working directly with the students or working on things that directly affect them. I need to know that the things happening in each class are best for students, and that conditions are optimum for teaching and learning. I want to be working with teachers to ensure that we are both aware of best practice and that I have a hand in making it happen.
I recently made the following entry in our January School Newsletter
I have had the ‘pleasure’ of helping my son complete grade 10 math by correspondence since September. He finished the course over the holidays and did quite well. It’s probably not how anyone imagines spending a large portion of their Christmas Break, but I was glad to see it through and get it done. There was time left over at the end of the break to do some relaxing and enjoy some free time. My son is of an age where spending time with his Dad isn’t always at the top of his list of things he wants to do. So, for me, even math is an opportunity to share time with him.
I hope that each of us took time over the break to connect with family. When opportunity presents itself, we have to take advantage of it. Our kids grow up fast, and we need to cherish the time we have together.
As teachers, we have your children for a good portion of the day. The time we get with them is different, yet valuable kind of time. We nurture many of the same things as you, like a love of learning, creativity, respect for each other and the environment. We seek to see them grow as individuals and as members of society. We want to see them grow to people who are independent of the assistance we willingly give as they are young. It is a great responsibility, and a very noble one as well.
Children are a valuable gift. I am glad to see my own growing up and becoming independent individuals. They may not go the direction we would choose for them, but that’s part of the process. We help them along and let them make choices. Then we stand back with our heart full of emotion and our mind full of memories.
Today, after a few days of this I was checking our School FaceBook page and was very pleased with a parent comment regarding my entry in the school newsletter. The parent expressed gratitude for the work we do at the school and that her oldest child attended the school now and looked forward to her younger children attending as well.
It seems we don’t often get a pat on the back for the hard work that we do. For me it is a good reminder that people notice that we care and that we are doing the best job we can. Much of what I do does take up time, and it takes away from the great things that I would like to be doing. There are things I wish I didn’t have to do and don’t always see the value in. But, what I do is important for the students and for the school. I am sure I will continue to be frustrated by the administrivia, but we are doing a great job.
We are making a difference.